Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Enel acquires EMotorWerks for IoT EV charging platform

Steve Rogerson
November 7, 2017

Italian company Enel has acquired California-based EMotorWerks, a supplier of electric vehicle charging stations, called JuiceBox, and owner and operator of JuiceNet, an IoT platform for the smart management of EV charging and other distributed energy storage facilities.
Through the JuiceNet platform, these facilities can be remotely controlled and aggregated for grid balancing purposes relying on unidirectional and bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electricity flows.
The acquisition of EMotorWerks through its US subsidiary EnerNOC marks Enel’s entrance into the US electric mobility market, one of the largest EV markets globally.
“Electric vehicles have the potential to be one of the most disruptive technologies the modern electricity grid has faced in the last one hundred years,” said Francesco Venturini, head of Enel's global e-services division. “The electric mobility revolution is leading utilities, grid operators and consumers to rethink traditional business models, invest in new infrastructure, and roll out new solutions to provide flexibility and resiliency to the grid. Our mission is to be on the cutting edge of this paradigm shift, where consumers can play a more active role in energy generation and use.”
He said the acquisition enriched Enel’s e-mobility offering and integrated sophisticated smart EV charging within its portfolio of grid flexibility services, which included the world’s largest demand response network, distributed energy management systems and battery storage.
This acquisition substantiates the implementation of Enel’s strategy to deliver, customer-focused products and services to the market, such as smart charging, integration between electric vehicles and distributed generation resources, as well as grid balancing and V2G services. Enel is planning to use the JuiceNet platform’s functions in all of its EV charging stations globally.
"Electrification of transportation is one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction opportunities facing the planet and electric vehicles are quickly becoming the largest flexible resource on the grid,” said Val Miftakhov, EMotorWerks founder and CEO. “With smart energy management by JuiceNet, EVs can provide the bulk of the grid balancing capacity to enable the 100% renewable grid around the world. Additionally, as EV adoption grows, utilities must either add more infrastructure to meet energy demands or adopt smart charging.”
EMotorWerk’s platform reduces EV emissions and remotely optimises charging load, which can reduce peak demands and increase the likelihood that EVs charge on cheaper and cleaner renewable energy.
“As the newest member of Enel family, EMotorWerks now has all the resources and go-to-market access required to scale our solutions globally and drive the faster adoption of a smart, grid-integrated EV future,” said Miftakhov.
With the JuiceNet platform, users can remotely schedule and control the greenest and most cost-effective times to charge their EVs. For example, users can schedule EV charging when electricity from domestic solar rooftop systems is most abundant. Furthermore, V2G charging stations and other storage facilities can also be used to respond to network signals, aggregating charging and discharging activities to balance electricity flows in the grid when needed. These balancing services can provide additional revenue streams for EV owners, potentially lowering the total cost of ownership of these vehicles.
EMotorWerks is headquartered in San Carlos, California, and employs 55 people. This acquisition comes on the heels of the company’s listing as the 17th fastest growing company in Silicon Valley and the 19th fastest growing energy company in the USA by the Inc 5000 list, a ranking of America’s entrepreneurs. EMotorWerks has deployed more than 25,000 smart-grid enabled charging stations to date.
Enel claims to be Europe’s largest utility in terms of market capitalisation and figures among Europe’s leading power companies in terms of installed capacity and reported EBITDA. The group is present in more than 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with more than 86GW of managed capacity.
Enel distributes electricity and gas through a network of over two million kilometres, and with more than 65 million business and household customers globally, the group has the largest customer base among European competitors. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power already manages more than 39GW of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, and has recently arrived in Australia.
In North America, Enel’s renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 3.3GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy. Through EGPNA, in January Enel acquired Demand Energy Networks, a US-based company specialising in intelligent software and energy storage, while in August it completed the acquisition of EnerNOC, a provider of demand response and energy services for utility, commercial, institutional and industrial customers.
Enel has installed around 5000 charging stations in Italy, Spain, Romania, Greece, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.